Living with Autism – 3 to 6 Years Old
Posted on December 31, 2018 by All In
This age group is a time when children are most active and curious. However, children with autism exhibit different behaviours from your typical kids.
If you notice that you child exhibits the symptoms that denotes some spectrum of autism, we encourage you to consult an experienced professional who can offer good counsel and help to manage your child. Many children with autism enrolled in early development programmes are able to cope much better later in life.
You may also want to take this Child Development Assessment to track your child’s developmental milestones so as to identify the early warning signs of autism.
Even though your 3-year-old have a full set of teeth, their sensory disorders may cause them to feel discomfort when they chew. For example, Broccoli might feel like tiny pebbles on their tongues. Hence, children with autism are generally picky and fussy eaters who may still prefer mashed (baby) food.
Certain types of food like gluten or sweet food have have adverse effect on your child’s digestive system. Children with autism have been proven to experience 5 times more mealtime problems than your typical kids, with an increase their risk of cardiovascular problems and obesity when they are adults. Hence, good nutrition and good eating habits should be implemented and established at this age. We show you how:
Firstly, rule out the food that cause allergic reactions in your child. For example, gluten, corn or an upset stomach. . This could also be why your child is showing aversions to the food. Before you start a new food regime, do consult your doctor.
Secondly, use the concept of compromise to help you out. Do not let mealtime be a source of conflict between your family. You can mix up unfamiliar food with your child’s preferred food as a way of easing him/her into it.
Thirdly giving your child choices may also reduce his dislike of certain food because it gives them the power to choose. Instead of forcing them to take a certain vegetable, give them three types and let them choose. If texture is the problem, find a creative way to skirt around that by, for example, mashing up beans or making a blended vegetable soup instead.
For more nutrition tips, click here.
This is also the age group where children begin to socialise and make friends. For children with autism, this might prove to be difficult. Hence, this is the best time to work on their social interaction and engagement skills. It is proven that with early intervention, children tend to grow up to have better interpersonal skills.
Click here to know more about socialisation and strategies to help your child with socialisation.
Being a parent of a child with autism can be exhausting. You may feel as though you are alone in this struggle, but you are not. There is a whole community here to offer you support and assistance. Be it online communities, forums, blogs or parents who are going through the same circumstance as you are. They are your pillars of strength.
When your child enters pre-school and is old enough to throw tantrums and scream at the top of his lungs, this support group will be a great avenue to offer a shoulder to cry on or a supportive environment for you to laugh about it and see the humour in the situation. If you have any questions or doubts, , these support systems also serve as your go-to guides.
Singaporemotherhood.com and mummysg.com are a few of the platforms you can turn to. You could even start your own blog or forum and find like-minded peers. It can be a healthy off-loading session for you. If you wish to know more on social support, click here for our comprehensive guide.
This is the age where most kids enrol in preschools. You can enrol your child in an academic environment where trained teachers are equip with the necessary skills to help your child cope with their autism symptoms.
Another benefit of sending your child to early learning is that it will gives parents some “me” time, be it for business or leisure. Having personal time to unwind is one of the means to tackle the stress of raising a child with autism.
The national early intervention programme is called EIPIC (Early Intervention Programme for Infants & Children). This programme is run by many voluntary welfare organisations such as Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) , Rainbow and so on. There are also many private schools that run their own Early Intervention Programmes, such as Autism Recovery Network (ARC). You may notice that certain childcare centres have the Integrated Child Care Programme (ICCP), which is a programme that is supported by the government to aid children with special needs.
Head to SG Enable for more information on EIPIC complete with a list of Early Intervention Programme providers.
Aside from academic schools, children with autism also benefits from attending regular therapy sessions to supplement their coping mechanisms. Such therapies can be subdivided into two groups: one that tackles core issues (social, communication) and another that tackles associated symptoms of autism.
Click here to read more on the different types of therapies.
As parents, you can play a part in shaping your child’s learning. There are workshops for parents and caregivers, where you learn and improve your skills in managing your child. In addition, you will also have the opportunities to meet and socialise with parents who have children with autism. This is essential to form a social support network for you, your child and your family.
All content found on the All In website, has been created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.